Van der Vaart Open To United Switch
Real Madrid playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart said that if he were to leave Real, he would be open to a switch to Manchester United, who he views as the only club who wouldn‘t be a step down from Real. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: United have been linked with VDV for quite a while, and given that they still haven’t quite filled that spot for a new creative midfielder and Real have just signed another one (which likely further limits the amount of limited opportunities he was already going to get), the opportunity’s there for United to make a move and land him at a decent price.
According to Dutch sources, Liverpool are believed to have made a bid of around £9m for PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Toivonen is now cup-tied after appearing for PSV in Thursday’s Europa League defeat against Sibir Novosibirsk, but with Hodgson having options in Europe (provided they can make it through to the competition proper), there’s still plenty of reason to push ahead with a move for the Swede.
Birmingham To Grab Grafite?
According to the Daily Mail, Birmingham City will step up their interest in a loan move for VfL Wolfsburg striker Grafite if the 31-year-old Brazilian can land a work permit.
Analysis: West Ham recently had a work permit denied for Miralem Sulejmani, which may not bode well for Birmingham, given that Grafite only has four caps for Brazil. However, three of them have come in the last few months, and he was a part of their World Cup squad, so there’s a chance.
Palace In Shock Davids Swoop
Crystal Palace have signed Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids on a free transfer. Davids hasn‘t played in more than two years, after leaving Ajax at the end of the 2007/08 season. (The Guardian)
Analysis: It’ll be interesting to see how much of a role he’s able to play for Palace. He’d been training with Ajax for the last few weeks already, so he won’t come in completely rusty. Still, he is 37 and hasn’t played a competitive match in quite a while. But given his talent, his reputation, and his experience, this is a move worth making, and who knows, he could well help them make a serious promotion push.
Forest Move For Whittingham
The Daily Mail says that Nottingham Forest have held talks with Cardiff City midfielder Peter Whittingham over a £1.8m move.
Analysis: Well, doing something to help a promotion rival isn’t something Cardiff really want to do, I’m sure, but Whittingham is out of contract next summer, and Cardiff’s financial situation, plus the addition of Craig Bellamy, dictate the likelihood of this move going through. Unfortunately for Cardiff, Whittingham could help fire Forest into the Premier League at their expense.
Real Bid For Bastos?
Goal.com says that Real Madrid have tabled a bid of €12m plus Royston Drenthe for Lyon star Michel Bastos.
Analysis: Lyon signed Bastos from Lille for €18m last summer, and if anything, he only increased his value in the last year, starring for Lyon last season and then playing a key role for Brazil in the World Cup. So, 12m plus Drenthe, whose value has nosedived since a €14m move from Feyenoord in August 2007, would fall short, even if Lyon were interested in parting with him.
Aquilani Set For Serie A Return
The agent of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani says that negotiations are ongoing over his client making a loan move to Juventus. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: If fit, Aquilani could be a real difference-maker for Liverpool, and with that in mind, it wouldn‘t hurt for him to be given a full season to prove his worth to Roy Hodgson. However, that’s a big, big if, and with Hodgson is looking to make his imprint on the club, this isn’t a bad move for all involved.
Werder Sign Wesley
Werder Bremen have used some of the cash from the sale of Mesut Ozil to Real Madrid to land a new playmaker, as they‘ve signed Wesley from Santos for a fee believed to be in the region of €7.5m. (Goal.com)
Analysis: With another rising young star in Marko Marin (won’t be long until he’s prominently in this space), Aaron Hunt coming off of his best season yet and set to take on even more of a starring role this season, and the signing of a talented and versatile player in Wesley, Werder won’t miss Ozil nearly as much as some might think.
Marseille Grab Gignac
Marseille have all but completed the signing of striker Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse for a reported fee of €18m. The 24-year-old France international will pen a five-year deal once he completes a medical. (The Guardian)
Analysis: Unfortunately, Marseille are still in the same position up front as they were already, as Gignac will miss this weekend’s match due to injury and Loic Remy’s signing is being held up due to a potential heart problem that was discovered in his medical. Not a bad idea to hop on Lorient if you’re a betting man, given the situation.
Jelavic Joins Rangers
Rangers have signed Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic from Rapid Vienna in a £4m deal. (The Guardian)
Analysis: There’s still a void to fill after prolific striker Kris Boyd departed for Middlesbrough, and he has the eye for goal to fill it. And given that Rangers spent the balance of their summer transfer funds on him, he best deliver.